An ICFA service is a service which has been designed by Cafcass and can be provided within private law proceedings to assist families who are finding it difficult to agree lasting and final arrangements to ensure the children’s needs are met. This service can also be directed for reintroducing a parent to a child.

The service will be directed by the Court in order to attempt to move matters forward when parents are unable to agree. The service will aim to reduce the difficulties whilst considering the welfare and safety of the children together with ensuring the children’s wishes and feelings are heard and considered. An ICFA will help families prepare and agree a parenting plan to hopefully avoid future issues.

An ICFA assessment usually takes between four to eight works and is likely to include meeting and preparing parents to spend time with their child and meeting with a child to prepare them to spend time with the parent. An ICFA may be involved to observe the contact between the parent and child.

When all the ICFA work is complete, the Cafcass Officer will collect information from the final report to complete their assessment. They will then make a recommendation to the Court for them to consider a final order.

More information about the service can be found on the Cafcass website and within the ICFA factsheet (

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